My drawing buddies in Hypnogogium Arts Collective and I have five books at TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival). Two of the (print on demand for now) books are collective drawings and we each created our own.
My book is perhaps the least graphic novel-ish or comic book-ish of our five books. I have maybe 40 images + three types of writing but it looks more like a poetry book. I’d like to try a comics approach sometime.
Nine drawings today. I used a Sharpie marker on lined paper with three holes (the drawings below are reworked in Photoshop). I remembered long ago.
Walking past the department store windows, and the chocolate brown pillars that looked like Tootsie Rolls, I said, “You look very chick today.” She smiled and said, “It’s not chick.” I said, “What is it?” She said, “Sheikh.” Her long dark hair fell down over her green dress. She said, “Dan is missing in action.”
I divided 190 images (manipulated in Photoshop) used in these three GIFS into three groups – arbitrarily. Many were repetitive and yet many unique. I sought to give each GIF its own visual rhythm. Then I added a phrase to the third GIF: Take a photograph of what you love.
I reworked and juxtaposed two medieval paintings, a photograph of Jacqueline Kennedy in Dallas, and a photograph of Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin.
One of the images I used for a backdrop in Zoom during my virtual poetry reading at The Art Bar Poetry Reading Series on April 6th. During the first lockdown I painted this 18″ X 28.5″ work (acrylic & water-soluble graphic pencil on cardboard) while exploring concepts of lost text and mystery languages. My reading (video filmed and edited by Charles Hackbarth) can be found @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/artbarpoetry/permalink/10165105586530503/
I have been slowly working my way through Marina Tsvetaeva’s ‘Art in the Light of Conscience – Eight Essays on Poetry’ and read yesterday about Zhukovsky’s translation of Goethe’s Erlking. There is a child, on a horse, held in his father’s arms… All new to me. I borrowed the image and added that bit about ‘the only city’ and related the child’s emotions to String Theory. To not do justice to Tsvetaeva’s essay titled Two Forest Kings I’ll just call it mesmerizing.
I introduced the poetry project to the high school class. A boy, who seemed to be the class leader, didn’t see the point of it. I told him to knock on his desk. I said, “What did you touch?” He said, “Wood.” I said, “According to physicists at the University of Moscow exploring String Theory you just touched an elementary particle existing in 11 dimensions. Physicists at the University of Moscow exploring String Theory are now aware that elementary particles communicate with each other. Great poetry has come from Russian poets aware of scientific discoveries made at the University of Moscow.” He said, “Okay, I write.”
From Meme-Noir, my 2019 book of autobiographical vignettes. I bluffed my way through a possible rebellion. I remember the students reading aloud what they wrote. It was all very real. They followed his lead and he made it work. Somewhere he must be close to 30.
In my computer floating freely I found a digital file of (shall we say) cartoonish ‘Druid-monk’ images. He’s working beneath a light bulb (of course) and creating an icon of spirals. One is a cauldron-spiral. Perhaps I was thinking of manuscript illumination.
Then I found an ink drawing/collage from my (rather dark) 2011 exhibition at Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto.
After combining them in Photoshop I was going to call the series ‘Temptation at the Manuscript Factory’ – humour inspired by a miniature I’d created many moons ago for an art gallery and gallery owner (both gone) who annually held an International Exhibition of Miniature Art. Instead I worked with a line from my unpublished poem Celtlandia Has Fallen.
Celtlandia Has Fallen is a sort of a quest poem, inspired by ancestral yearnings. There is something in the DNA stirring. In the Continuous Vegetal Style I served her. I don’t remember this, but in the poem ‘I’ do.
Finish literary grant application and submit by the deadline. Keep going. The 3-person drawing collective I’m part of creates (print on demand) Hypnogogia Book One & Two and we apply to go into TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) online this year. We are accepted but need five books to sell. So now we each create a book. Mine is very nearly done.
My book is about a conversation that led to a dream of a girl on a bus, then a poem about the girl in the dream (who I last saw in 4th grade), and finally a letter to her now. Her name was Donna. For the poem she became Dona of the Mountains. Suddenly I remember Fairuz, the great Lebanese singer (now 85), and her funk masterpiece Al Bosta, in part about a bus journey, recorded in Greece in 1979. Was the journey in the mountains? Perhaps.
A poetry video from eight years ago I made with a professional camera operator and video/audio editor, location sound mixer, a drummer, public domain silent film (masters!) footage, Spanish & French translation, urban footage…
The ultimate glitch is mortality. Or maybe we discover the ultimate glitch after encountering finally the mortal moment. My late brother was a musician, and my speculative fiction in the previous post moving from mumbo jumbo about non-sequiturs and fictive art into King Solomon appropriating the camera used to record a Moody Blues concert film, reminded me of a music instruction book he wrote with some deliberately outlandish claims about music history.
I miss my difficult brother.
I must again thank the Canada Council for the Arts who funded my GIF project with the Digital Originals program. My project is finished now but the CC support was of great assistance and meaningful in developing a digital approach.